Saturday, March 7, 2009

Skating’s version of cross-country skiing

With the recent warm weather skating on the lake is probably just a memory for another year. It was an exceptional year with 7 or 8 great days when the ice was smooth and there was little or no snow on the surface.

Wild iceBut as reported in the Ottawa  Citizen yesterday, skating this winter was not confined to lakes and rivers. Brian Anderson is a 60-year-old Osgoode resident who practices “wild ice” skating.

Wild ice is not what you would expect – ice hanging out with the cool gang, getting into the booze, and then melting away when the cops arrive – it’s naturally occurring ice that forms in farmers fields, ditches and creek beds during the thaw-freeze cycles typical of late winter and early spring.

As Anderson admits, some of the ice can be “pretty wild”, as corn stalks and clumps of earth poke through here and there, but it can also provide kilometres of natural skateway for the wild ice skating aficionado.

Just don’t wear your best skates.


Anonymous said...

So they've got a name for what we used to do as kids in the 60's in the fields on the South Shore of Montreal. Always good for a "face-plant" or two...and without a helmut no less. Ahhh simpler times.

sassy said...

Wild Ice - new term for me as well. I grew up in an area where the farmer's fields would flood in the winter months and if it got cold enough for long enough (it was southern BC), we could skate on those frozen fields. It didn't happen every year so when it did, it was such big deal for the neighbourhood. Rough ice and lots of things sticking up through it but, great fun and now, lots of memories.

Canajun said...

We did too as kids, although we didn't have the wide open fields common around farming communities, so were limited in the distances we could travel.

It was nice to see the rural kids out on their skates over the past few weeks enjoying the wild ice (the perfect term for it) from the most recent thaw-freeze. Creating their own memories.